This month, October 2016, will be the theater of an historic moment for the future of cities and humanity. Local and regional leaders are meeting at the UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Bogota to address how to raise local voices for a better world and we are only a few days away from the Habitat III Conference in Quito, the biggest international conference to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization.
Through these meetings, Global Leaders will approve the New Urban Agenda, an action-oriented document that invites people to rethink the way they build, manage, and live in cities. The role of citizens in the design and definition of the New Urban Agenda is crucial as they are the first to know what they need and what they expect from the New Urban Agenda, although several have highlighted that their participation in the design of the Agenda has not been sufficiently active.
In order to make sure the New Urban Agenda is aligned with the needs and wishes of citizens, it is time for Global Leaders to listen to what they are asking for: more and better public spaces, improved urban mobility, better human settlements with proper access to public goods, more security, better access to healthy food and more opportunities for its youth. In the end citizens want more inclusive and sustainable cities where they can build together a better place to live in.
Paula Garcia Serna and Fernando Casado Cañeque have been travelling the world through the initiative Towards the Human City, documenting the voices of civil society demanding global leaders to engage in a more participatory, inclusive and sustainable Urban Agenda. The project has taken them through Latin America, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe, capturing the demands of citizens raising their voices to request Global Leaders to become more engaged on creating human cities.
Watch their message and unite your voice to the movement. Ask Global Leaders to commit to a more inclusive and sustainable urban agenda. Be part of the change.